Types of Reasoning Questions in Competitive Exams

Reasoning Questions

Reasoning, be it verbal or non-verbal, logical or analytical, is an integral portion of exam patterns of a considerable majority of competitive exams as well as ability-testing examinations in India and abroad. Reasoning questions aid institutions to gauge the problem solving, critical thinking, calculation along with the ability to connect different elements and series prediction skills. Furthermore, reasoning along with verbal ability is typically asked in prelims or first stage of exams acting as a screening test for subsequent stages of selection and ultimately a personal interview. Read on to know more about the various categories of reasoning questions that are generally included in competitive exams.

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Major Divisions

In particular, questions asked in competitive exams generally fall under verbal or non-verbal reasoning or logical or analytical reasoning. Though it is tricky business to align a particular question with a specific category, it is usually observed that picture or diagram-related questions usually come under non-verbal section, core logic and deduction questions pertain to logical reasoning and blood relations questions, seating arrangement questions etc may fall in the ambit of both verbal and analytical reasoning. As for the exams, reasoning questions and related sections can be found on MBA entrance exams like CAT 2020, NTSE, SCRA exam, AFCAT Exam, SSC CGL, AMCAT, RBI, Railway Recruitment exams, LIC and IBPS, amongst others.

Verbal Reasoning & Non-Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning Non-Verbal Reasoning
Analogy, Series Completion,
Blood Relations, Venn Diagrams,
Sequential Output Tracing,
Ranking & Time Sequence Test,
Alphabet Test, Logical Sequence of Words,
Inserting the Missing Character,
Data Sufficiency,
Arithmetical Reasoning Questions,
Coding-Decoding, Puzzle Test,
Eligibility Test, Situation Reaction Test,
Assertion & Reason, etc
Mirror Images, Reverse Images,
Spotting Embedded Figures, Figure Matrix,
Paper Folding, Cubes & Dice, Construction
of Squares & Triangles,
Grouping of Identical Figures,
Paper Cutting, Rule Detection,
Dot Situation, Figure Formation & Analysis,
Series, Classification, Analogy etc

Analytical Reasoning vs Verbal Reasoning

Analytical Reasoning Logical Reasoning
Seating Arrangement,
Blood Relations,
Direction Sense Test,
Complex Arrangement,
Simple & Coded Inequality,
Conditions & Grouping,
Ranking & Time Sequence Test, etc
Statements & Assumption,
Constraint-Based Reasoning Questions,
Proposition Testing,
Course of Action,
Assertion and Reason,
Input-Output Relations,
Conclusion Estimation from Passages,
Cause and Effect Reasoning,
Theme Detection etc

Note: Both of the above tables are only for indicative purposes. Students must note that a large majority of the reasoning questions overlap among the categories of reasoning and are flexibly utilized.

Want to know exam patterns, read:

Solved Examples of Reasoning Questions 

Since there are a plethora of types of questions under reasoning, let us take into account a few important ones-

Logical Reasoning: 

In a family, there are husband-wife, two sons and two daughters. All the ladies were invited to a dinner. Both sons went out to play. Husband did not return from the office. Who was at home?

  • A. Only wife was at home
  • B. Nobody was at home
  • C. Only sons were at home
  • D. All ladies were at home

Answer: B

In Arun’s opinion, his weight is greater than 65 kg but less than 72 kg. His brother doesn’t agree with Arun and he thinks that Arun’s weight is greater than 60 kg but less than 70 kg. His mother’s view is that his weight cannot be greater than 68 kg. If all are them are correct in their estimation, what is the average of different probable weights of Arun?

  • A. 67 kg
  • B. 68 kg
  • C. 69 kg
  • D. Data inadequate

Answer: A

Blood Relations:

If ‘X $ Y’ means ‘X is father of Y’; ‘X # Y’ means ‘X is mother of Y’; ‘X × Y’ means ‘X is sister of Y’, then how is D related to N in N # A $ B × D ?

A. Nephew

B. Grandson

C. Granddaughter

D. Cannot be Determined

Answer D

Pointing to a photograph, a man said, “I have no brother or sister but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Whose photograph was it?

A. His own

B. His Son

C. His Father

D. His Grandfather

Answer C

Coding- Decoding 

If in a certain language, MADRAS is coded as NBESBT, how is BOMBAY coded in that code?





Answer B 

In a code language if POSE is coded as OQNPRTDF, then the word TYPE will be coded as





Answer C

Dice and Cubes 

Four usual dice are thrown on the ground. The total of numbers on the top faces of these four dice is 13 as the top faces showed 4, 3, 1 and 5 respectively. What is the total of the faces touching the ground?

A. 12

B. 13

C. 15

D. Cannot be determined

Answer C

Direction Sense 

I am facing East. Turning to the right I go 20 m, then turning to the left I go 20 m and turning to the right I go 20 m, then again turning to the right I go 40 m and then again I go 40 m to the right. In which direction am I from my original position?

A. North

B. West

C. South

D. East

Answer B 

A river flows west to east and on the way turns left and goes in a semi-circle round a hillock, and then turns left at right angles. In which direction in the river finally flowing?

A. West

B. East

C. North

D. South

Answer B 

Tips to Crack Reasoning Questions

Owing to the vast types of reasoning questions asked by exam-setters every year as well as their obsession to twist easy ones into dreaded nightmares, cracking this section requires consistent effort, motivation and most importantly, a whole lot of practice. To help you with your preparation efforts, here are a few pieces of advice that you must remember.

  • Keep the best of resources by your side. While preparing for competitive exams, materials that follow the latest syllabus are an important prerequisite. It not only aids your direction of preparation but also helps you work on your strong and weak areas.
  • Read reasoning questions carefully. More often than not, the answer to the question is hidden in plain sight but the barrier of jargon and sentences leads you in a different direction. In order to not regret wasting precious time on petty calculations, read the every questions meticulously and then answer it.
  • Do not use your prior information or knowledge. Reasoning questions on syllogism, word problems are not accurately based on real-life situations often make assumptions. So, answer reasoning questions on the information mentioned and not anything else.
  • Terminologies & Triggers. One out of five questions may contain a few terminologies or triggers, prior knowledge of which helps you in getting to your answers quickly. These types of reasoning questions include ‘should be’ or ‘must be’ and sports, finance, basic science, amongst others. 

Watch this video to get handy with some cool tricks to solve Reasoning Questions

Courtesy: SSC Maker

Practice Worksheet

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The overriding success mantra for nailing reasoning questions in competitive examinations is the cliched but effective policy of ‘practicing hard continuously’. However, almost as important is to work through a well-planned and structured strategy based on your strong points. The experts at Leverage Edu can help you prepare the right strategy for the competitive exam you are appearing for so that you can sail through your exam with flying colours.

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